Friday, August 27, 2010

White Sox claim Manny Ramirez

The Chicago White Sox officially won the waiver claim on Manny Ramirez today.

This was long expected, as the White Sox were the only team to show legitimate interest in Ramirez prior to the July 31 trade deadline.

The Dodgers have three options here:

  1. They trade Ramirez to the White Sox for players not on the 40-man roster or players on the 40-man roster who have cleared waivers;
  2. Pull him back not not trade him, thus being stuck with his salary the rest of the seaosn ($4.1-$4.25 million);
  3. They can just let Ramirez go to the White Sox for nothing but salary relief.

With the Dodgers just five games back in the wild card race, GM Ned Colletti might not be so quick to trade Ramirez.

This would be foolish. Ramirez has been injured much of the season and can barely field his position anymore. The Dodgers aren't too likely to offer Ramirez arbitration following the season, so getting whatever they can for him would be the smart move.

The Dodgers need minor league catching depth. The White Sox have a few catchers of interest, including Tyler Flowers. However, Flowers is on the 40-man roster and can't be traded without clearing waivers (which he wouldn't). Josh Phegley is another option. He's 22 and has had a taste of Double-A, which means he isn't too far away.

Third baseman Brent Morel could also be an option. He's 23 and in Triple-A right now, where he's putting up a solid .323/.353/.502 line. Third base is also a weakness within the Dodger system, so Morel would make sense.

Frankly, anything the Dodgers get in return for Ramirez is a plus. His days in the National League are numbered. The ride was good while it lasted -- or at least until Ramirez was busted for a banned substance. A return to the American League will do him some good and extend his career two or three more years.

Let's just hope the Dodgers' recent "hot streak" does not deter them from doing the right thing -- trading Manny Ramirez to the White Sox.

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